The first week of school has come and gone, yet the Vintage at Tabernacle student housing, which was set to be complete in early August, is still unfinished.
The apartment complex was to provide 265 new beds for Dixie State University students. With an Aug. 4 completion date, the project was already two months behind schedule in April.
Students were given an Aug. 15 move-in date, six days before classes began; however, on Aug. 10 residents received calls and emails alerting them the apartments were not ready.
Kristina Pramuk, a junior criminal justice major from Salt Lake City, said when she arrived on Aug. 15, instead of moving into her $5,500 private room, she moved to a room at Motel 6, which she shared with one other girl.
Two days later, Pramuk said she was notified the Vintage management wanted to move her again. Vintage told renters they should be better taken care of and have better rooms while they wait for their apartments to be ready, Pramuk said. Renters were relocated from Motel 6 into four hotels, including Best Western Plus, St. George Inn, Quality Inn and Clarion Suites. However, now students are living across town, even farther away from DSU’s campus.
“I wasn’t planning on driving to and from school every day,” Pramuk said. “That’s why I moved to [Vintage] because it’s in walking distance. I got tired of driving because it takes so much money. That’s kind of a strain on me with the gas.”
To compensate for breaking contract, Pramuk said Vintage is paying for the students’ hotels, giving them $50 gift cards and meal-plan money each week, running a shuttle between the hotels and campus, and reimbursing renters’ Vintage accounts for each day they are not living in the complex. The reimbursements can be used to pay future rent.
There is one shuttle that runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between the four hotels and campus, said Don Steck, executive director of auxiliary services and director of road scholar program. The shuttle driver has also given his phone number to the students, so they can call him on the weekend if they need to go to a store.
Martin Peterson, director of campus dining dervices, said Vintage has purchased about 155 to 160 meal plans for students, which replenishes weekly.
Pramuk said she usually cooks her own food to save money when she comes to school. Any other year, she normally wouldn’t eat out much. Pramuk was counting on having a kitchen in her apartment, but the hotel doesn’t offer that amenity.
“It’s pretty rough,” she said.
Pramuk also said that Vintage has kept students on a need-to-know basis. She received an email on Aug. 20 from them that said they hope to get tenants in the building “soon,” and they would have another inspection on either Aug. 22 or Aug. 23.
Vintage has been communicating to DSU all summer that the project would be ready for the fall semester, said Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life.
“One thing you have to understand with construction is there’s unpredictability,” Gubler said.
DSU came close to having to place Campus View Suites renters in hotels last year in case it was unfinished, Gubler said.
All the way up to August of last year, he said they were unsure whether or not the building would get a certificate of occupancy in time for students to move in. During that period, they made plans similar to what Vintage is doing now. Fortunately, the project was completed and received occupancy, and students were able to move in to Campus View Suites.
It is unclear exactly when students will be able to move into Vintage at Tabernacle, but in the meantime, Pramuk said Vintage has been able to provide her with what she needs to sustain herself and be comfortable while she waits for her apartment to be ready.
Vintage offered no comment on the current situation of its residents or on the progress of the building.